Newsflash 2

The death toll is now around 33, with 45 seriously injured. There were four explosions, not six.
I've been scrolling through the thread on Outpost Gallifrey about the bombings.

One poster pointed out that Tony Blair must be delighted at being handed such an opportunity to pass through legislation on ID cards, immigration and whatever else he wants. He was shouted down for being cynical, tasteless, and point scoring.

Well, the blindingly obvious has always been tasteless. Some even said Blair looked genuinely upset when he made his 'never surrender' speech. Staggeringly nieve.

Most seem to think politics should somehow be kept out of a 'human tragedy' - as though bombs are planted for some apolitical reason. "We are a great nation for uniting in times of crisis....", said one. Why do nice people have to be so wet?
Who was responsible? This is my post to the forum:

The usual suspects:

IRA: Not their style, and they wouldn't gain anything by it. And they generally claim responsibility hours after the event.

Some splinter of the IRA: Same remark.

Anti-G8 extremists: There aren't any. Anti-G8 protesters divide into liberals who want to shame the G8 into genuinely doing something about African poverty, and anti-war campaigners who know perfectly well why terrorism doesn't work.

Some loony religious group: Religion provides rhetoric, not motive.

[I mean it gives a framework in which to express political views. It doesn't created these views.]

Hamas, Palastinians etc: Why? There's no way it would serve their interests.

Our own government: A few loud bangs to prop up the 'war on terror'? It just seems an extremely cackhanded and oddly timed way of doing that. Can't disprove it but it feels wrong.
[Some idiot thought this meant I was accusing the government, saying if it was them "the Labour party would never be elected again" and "they were deadly high explosives and so it is quite preposterous to even think representatives of the government might have planted them"]

Al Quaida 1: You mean the truely massive but perfectly camoflaged international network of fanatics, that has never been infiltrated, and doesn't seem to have a precise agenda?

Al Quaida 2: You mean one of the hundreds of tiny far eastern terrorist groups who've started using the name? Or those who pretend to be 'linked to Al Qaida' in some mysterious way. These do exist, but as a way of getting 'the west' out of their countries, it's counterproductive to say the least.

Three tube stations and one bus were bombed. Why?

Possibly the busiest stations bombed were Edware Road and Russell Square. But if the culprits wanted to kill a lot of people, why didn't they chose Oxford Circus, or Victoria?

It looks like the point wasn't to kill people, or do much structural damage, but to create fear without large loss of life. Like a warning shot.
In politics and media, nothing ever seems sincere. "Filthy act"..."deepest condolances"..."we share their pain intensely"..."deeply saddened"..."barbaric"..."shocking and despicable"..."horror and disgust at this cowardly attack" - which are real and which are reflex?

There is only one emotion that works anymore in text. Derision.
A group has claimed responsibility. The snazzily named 'The Secret Organisation of Al Quaida of Jihad Organisation in Europe'. There's always a few organisations that no one's heard of before claiming responsibility, so I remain to be convinced of it's veracity.

Besides, what kind of group calls itself "The Secret Organisation"?!
My parents were bound for a hospital near Russell Square (one of the explosion sites) when the bombs went off. If they'd left an hour earlier, they might have been in it.

They are now back and extremely unimpressed with Tony Blair's attempt to impersonate Winston Churchill. I had invited Mark S around for some 'fun' while they were on their daytrip to London. I had to text an apology - usually it's him who cancels on me.

Another cancellation - I was looking for an excuse not to go to the Marxism conference this year. This wasn't quite what I had in mind. It's been cancelled or postponed, by exactly the sort of event that makes political discussion important.

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